The Dance Students Association presents “Bloom”

(Courtesy of Fiona Vandermyden)

From April 25–26, the Dance Students Association (DSA) presents Bloom, a student-run show debuting the work of student choreographers.

Christiano DiDomenico and Gabriella Noonan, both fourth-year dance and concurrent education students, are co-artistic directors of the project. They both share that this experience has been an exciting opportunity to explore the production and management sides of a performance.

“I truly honour and respect everyone involved in a production — it is so much work and requires endless dedication to their craft to put together a successful show,” says DiDomenico. “Some individuals that I admire when curating a show are Sophia Fabiano, Jennifer Jimenez, and Tracey Norman. I am always craving to try something new in my life and being an Artistic Director for Bloom definitely spiced things up.”

Noonan continues: “Starting university in the middle of a pandemic was definitely not easy, especially as a more introverted individual. When I was cast in pieces in my first year, I was able to begin building connections — not only with people in my year, but in other years. It helped cultivate some sense of community even during that difficult time.”

DiDomenico and Noonan emphasize that one of the highlights of artistic directing has been to work with one another, as they can rely on the other for support, having developed a strong bond starting from dancing together in Bloom their first year.

Megan Medeiros, a fourth-year dance student, will be debuting her piece The heartbRAYk at the event. “My piece is brought to life by nine wonderful dancers playing the roles of proud yet troubled gentlemen living and loving in the 60s,” Medeiros reveals. “The piece follows the concept of loving then losing, as these men face trouble with their reckless behaviour and partying ways. The piece is guided by the marvellous sound and storytelling of Ray Charles and is influenced by 60s’ dance crazes, hip-hop movement qualities, and theatrics.”

Victoria Kuronen, a fourth-year dance student, expresses that her “experience choreographing for Bloom has been nothing but amazing.” Kuronen will be exploring Finnish deities and their Earthly connections in her piece.

“The artistic directors are so organized and clear with dates, showings, and feedback. It has made the process feel easy and allows me to focus on my creative liberties with my fantastic dancers. In addition, working with my outside eyes and mentor, Jane-Alison McKinney, has improved my work substantially and without the help of Bloom I wouldn’t have taken that route! Finally, working in an environment that has no academic structure or pressure has opened my eyes to new ways of creating and allows me to take risks that I would not take if I was being evaluated on my work,” she says.

Grace Sokolow, a fourth-year dance and theatre student, will be presenting their piece Woe to His Own. Sokolow explains that her piece “looks at the disaster and desolation of the Italian city Pompeii and its connection to modern society through the lens of the collaborators involved. The work follows the narrative of a traveller visiting Mount Vesuvius and the parallels to its eruption in 79 AD. Within this piece, we have been discovering the themes of technology, labour, environmental trauma, and culture shock.”

The choreographers express that Bloom has been a fulfilling experience, as it gave them the opportunity to hone their artistic expression in a unique student-run setting without the boundaries of class syllabuses. 

“This experience allows us to grow, and use our own talents and strengths collectively, resulting in the creation of something beautiful,” says Medeiros. “Being involved in Bloom encourages collaboration with individuals within the dance program that you may not have had the chance to previously work with, such as mentors/faculty as outside eyes and dancers within other years.”

Sokolow echoes this sentiment, adding: “As choreographers, we are encouraged to take risks and try new things, as for some it may be the first time we present or perform work outside of an academic institution. Having this experience, getting to work with eager and talented dancers, and presenting my work downtown to many guests is exciting to say the least.”

To learn more about Bloom and to get tickets, click here.

About the Author

By Sydney Ewert

Arts Editor

Sydney is in her third year at York University studying Dance. She loves to travel and explore new places. When Sydney is not editing, working, or studying for her classes, she is likely going for walks or learning new recipes.


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